The olfactory mechanism represents among the oldest sensory modalities in the phylogenetic background of mammals. (See the picture below.) together a chemistry sensor, the olfactory system detects food and influences social and sexual behavior. The dedicated olfactory epithelial cell characterize the only group of neurons capable of regeneration. Activation occurs when odiferous molecule come in contact with devoted processes recognized as the olfactory vesicles. <1>

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Head anatomy with olfactory nerve.

Within the nasal cavity, the turbinates or nasal conchae offer to straight the inspired air toward the olfactory epithelium in the upper posterior region. This area (only a couple of centimeters wide) contains much more than 100 million olfactory receptor cells. These dedicated epithelial cells offer rise come the olfactory vesicles containing kinocilia, which offer as web page of stimulus transduction. Olfaction is less arisen in human beings than in various other mammals, such as rodents.

The olfactory epithelium is composed of 3 cabinet types: basal, supporting, and olfactory receptor cells. Basal cells are stem cell that give rise to the olfactory receptor cells (seen in the photo below). The continuous turnover and new supply of this neurons are unique to the olfactory system. In no other ar in the mature nervous system do less distinguished stem cells replace neurons. Sustaining cells room scattered amongst the receptor cells and have numerous microvilli and also secretory granules, which empty their components onto the mucosal surface. <2>

Olfactory receptors.

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The receptor cells are actually bipolar neurons, every possessing a slim dendritic rod that contains dedicated cilia extending from the olfactory vesicle and a long main process that forms the fila olfactoria. The cilia carry out the transduction surface ar for odorous stimuli.

The vomeronasal organ is a dedicated bilateral membranous structure situated in the basic of the anterior sleep septum, in ~ the junction of the septal cartilage and also the bony septum. That is thought to detect external chemical signals referred to as pheromones. This signals, which are not detected consciously together odors by the olfactory system, mediate person autonomic, psychological, and also endocrine responses. The trigeminal nerve innervates the posterior sleep cavity to detect noxious stimuli.